Special Collections Faculty and Staff Publications

Document Type


Publication Date

October 2012


Faced with shrinking budgets and reduced staffing, the University of South Florida Libraries Special & Digital Collections Department (SDC) implemented a comprehensive, integrated assessment program to better focus its diminished resources within clear strategic goals. Department faculty sought to answer the following inter-related questions: 1) What are the Department’s staffing needs? 2) What staff skill sets and training are required to meet researchers’ expectations, and what personnel skills and functions are most needed by the Department in the future? 3) Where should the Department target its outreach efforts? 4) How can the Department streamline and prioritize technical services to support patron needs? 5) How can collection development and intellectual access activities best align with strategic goals and patron needs?

This paper presents the results of integrated qualitative and quantitative assessment activities, which, when taken as a whole, provided SDC with a comprehensive view of patron and Department needs. The assessment strategies utilized in SDC allowed for a wide variety of improvements and changes in staffing practices, all driven by data rather than anecdotal evidence.